Help Resolve Shoulder and Knee Pain with an Arthrogram

July 28, 2022 – 2 min read

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Help Resolve Shoulder and Knee Pain with an Arthrogram

Shoulder and knee pain can have many different causes. If you have experienced an injury or are having unexplained joint pain, your doctor might order an arthrogram to help diagnose the cause of your discomfort.

How an Arthrogram Works

An arthrogram is a medical imaging method that gives your doctor a detailed look inside your joint. It differs from other imaging procedures because it uses a series of pictures, rather than a single image. This helps the doctor find injuries or other changes in bones as well as other joint structures, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

Radiologists create arthrograms by using x-rays, MRI images, or CT scans. They also use contrast dye to highlight the area in the images. Knee and shoulder arthrograms are the most common, but this type of imaging can also be used for other joints, such as the hip, ankle or elbow.

What Happens When You Get an Arthrogram?

At your appointment, the technologist will position you on the table and conduct the imaging exam. The radiologist will administer the contrast agent. Your position varies depending on whether you are getting an X-ray, CT scan or MRI arthrogram. Sometimes, regular X-rays are taken in advance to help in guiding the contrast dye injection, as well as capture baseline imaging to use for comparison.

After the radiologist removes the needle, he or she will ask you to move your shoulder or knee joint to help spread the contrast material throughout the area. Depending on the type of arthrogram you have, the process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for an MRI arthrogram.

After the Arthrogram

After your appointment, you probably won’t need to plan much recovery time. However, you might experience some discomfort after your shoulder or knee arthrogram, including swelling and pain in the joint. You may apply ice or take an over-the-counter analgesic to help with pain. These symptoms usually resolve within 48 hours.

There is a slight risk of dislocation of the joint after an arthrogram. Your radiologist may recommend avoiding strenuous activity for 24 hours to give your body time to release the injected fluid from the joint.

The highly trained, board-certified radiologists at American Health Imaging provide accurate imaging results your doctor can use to pinpoint the source of your pain and develop the treatment plan that is right for you. With convenient locations throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas, American Health Imaging makes getting high-quality medical imaging convenient and hassle-free.

Has your doctor ordered an arthrogram for knee or shoulder pain? Request an appointment at an American Health Imaging location near you.